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OSP Occupational Profile

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NOC Code: NOC Code: 7314 Occupation: Railway carmen/women
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Railway carmen/women inspect, troubleshoot, maintain and repair structural and mechanical components of railway freight, passenger and urban transit rail cars. They are employed by railway transport companies and urban transit systems.  Railway carmen/women inspect, troubleshoot, maintain and repair structural and mechanical components of railway freight, passenger and urban transit rail cars. They are employed by railway transport companies and urban transit systems. 

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3
Writing Writing 1 2 3
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3 4
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading
  • Read short memos, circulars and bulletins to be informed about upcoming events, safety updates and job announcements. (1)
  • Read reports of railway accidents which caused injuries or fatalities to workers. Read the reports to learn the causes of accidents and to remind yourself about the importance of preventative safety measures. (2)
  • Read warnings, instructions and emergency procedures on Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System labels and Material Safety Data Sheets prior to handling chemicals. (2)
  • Review descriptions of damage on inspection sheets and work orders before starting repair jobs. Read to determine what is not working properly and what repair and service operations you have to complete. (2)
  • Read safety precautions, first aid procedures and instructions for use on the labels of products such as cleaners and lubricants. (2)
  • Read troubleshooting, operating, maintenance and repair instructions in technical manuals. For example, refer to manuals to review the sequential procedures for repairing airbrakes and the Association of American Railroads manuals for standard repairs and codes. (3)
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Writing
  • Write brief comments about defects in logbooks and on work tickets and equipment tags. (1)
  • Write short descriptions and explanations on forms such as work orders and inspection sheets. (1)
  • Write memos to supervisors. For example, request additional supplies or describe mechanical failures and actions taken to repair equipment. (2)
  • Write accident or incident reports which describe the details of incidents, identify the people involved, outline the damages that resulted and corrective actions taken. Make recommendations for preventative actions as appropriate. (3)
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Document Use
  • Scan labels and repair tags to identify part numbers, sizes and repairs needed. For example, scan labels on boxes of brake shoes to verify the sizes. Examine bad order tags to identify which cars need immediate repairs. (1)
  • Complete reporting forms such as inspection sign-offs, wheel reporting forms, timesheet and general work orders. Mark checklists, record model numbers and measurements, and list replaced parts and completed tasks. Mark diagrams of railway cars by circling areas in need of repairs. (2)
  • Extract data from lists and tables. For example, consult lists of damaged items to be repaired. Scan parts lists to confirm that replacement parts are available. Locate specifications, substitute part numbers and repair codes published in catalogues. (2)
  • Consult manuals to locate information about replacing defective parts and the alternatives when exact parts are not available. For example, search for information on alternative braking systems for Renaissance railcars. Refer to parts' specifications, substitute part numbers and repair codes in tables published in regulation manuals such as the Association of American Railroads manual. (2)
  • Interpret assembly diagrams when maintaining and repairing structural and mechanical components of railcars. For example, examine assembly diagrams to verify the positioning of cross supports on the bottom of foreign railcars. (2)
  • Examine complex electrical, air and hydraulic schematics to identify circuits, flows and devices. For example, study schematics in the Air Brake manual illustrating the steps required for installing air brakes. (3)
  • Use a variety of drawings when repairing and reconstructing railcars. For example, use assembly diagrams to identify component parts in brake and coupling systems when completing repairs. Check scale drawings to ensure rebuilt components are the correct sizes. Refer to schematic drawings of air brakes and water distribution systems when working on unfamiliar railcars. Occasionally, integrate information from all of the drawings when planning repairs. (3)
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Digital Technology
  • Use spreadsheets. For example, use spreadsheets to print copies of timesheets to be completed by hand. (2)
  • Receive email with memo attachments from supervisors and administration personnel. (2)
  • Browse the Internet to research workplace safety procedures that apply to railway workers. (2)
  • Use computer and software applications. For example, use custom software to make labels for wires. (2)
  • Use database software. For example, access database programs to enter information about railcars inspections, maintenance and repairs. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Instruct trainees in procedures for the maintenance and repairs of railcars. Describe how to detect damaged areas, structural defects and assemble parts. Instructions must be clear, precise and easily understood by the trainees because all repairs must meet industry standards as set by the Railway Association of Canada. (2)
  • Discuss work assignments with supervisors. Advise them about difficulties in obtaining specific railcar parts and discuss the best course of action for obtaining substitute parts. (2)
  • Exchange information and opinions about repair tasks on railcars with co-workers. For example, discuss detailed technical information on braking system installation and operation. (2)
  • Interact with suppliers to discuss detailed technical information on equipment modifications and manufacturing methods. For example, discuss how to modify or fabricate new parts for older railcars or how to repair an unfamiliar railcar braking system. (2)
  • Discuss safety procedures and requirements with co-workers. For example, before entering tank cars that may contain hazardous gases review communication and rescue signals with spotters and discuss what actions to take in the event of emergencies. (3)
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Money Math
  • Prepare travel expense claims for work carried out at remote sites. Include car expenses, accommodations and meals. (2)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Track the amount of time spent on different tasks during your shift to ensure you conform to general timeframes established by supervisors. (1)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure railcar parts for rebuilding or manufacturing purposes. For example, use tape measures to measure the lengths and widths of grab irons. (1)
  • Take precise measurements using micrometers and callipers when assembling and fitting prefabricated parts and performing inspections on railcars. For example, use callipers to measure the length and diameter of drawbars. Use micrometers when close tolerance measurements of the outer and inner diameters of shafts are required. (3)
  • Calculate material and supply quantities. For example, calculate the specific volume of paint required to produce a particular thickness of coating on refurbished railcars. Use a specified mixing ratio of paint to reducer to hardener to determine the required quantity of each component. A railway car mechanic calculates the quantity of metal required to rebuild a railcar shell by calculating the total area and dividing by the size of prefabricated sheets. (3)
  • Use trigonometry to calculate angles when installing vertical handbrakes, calculating slopes on ramps and determining angles for folded sheet metal. (4)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare measurements of two parts to each other and to specifications. For example, compare wheel measurements on both the right and left sides of rail cars to ensure the cars are balanced. Compare air pressure measurements of air brakes over time to ensure that these systems are functioning properly and meeting operating standards. (1)
  • Collect and analyze maintenance and repair data to identify recurring faults in rail cars. For example, examine how frequently mechanical failures occur, such as doors not closing properly, in order to identify patterns. (2)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate quantities of materials to order. Consider how many railcars will require maintenance and how much inventory is currently in stock. (1)
  • Estimate time required to complete repair and maintenance tasks. Time estimates depend upon the complexity of the maintenance or repair, whether parts are in stock and availability of additional staff to assist with the task. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Railway carmen and women take directions from supervisors who assign their workloads and schedules. They may prioritize their workload and sequence tasks for efficiency, subject to their supervisors' approval. Railway carmen and women work independently on some tasks and they may be assigned to work with partners on other tasks. Some tasks, such as train inspections and wheel changes, are repetitive while repairs to railcar exteriors, bottom gates or modification of parts are less frequent. Occasionally they have to rearrange job tasks to accommodate railway emergencies. Railway carmen and women may occasionally plan and schedule the work of employees they supervise, such as trainees. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Determine if railcars can be returned to service. Examine the information in the maintenance and repair records and visually inspect the railcars using procedures established by the Railway Association of Canada. (2)
  • Determine the tools, equipment and materials required to repair or replace damaged areas of railcars. (2)
  • Decide which tasks to assign to workers whom you supervise. Consider the workers' experience and job skills. Assign small, safe jobs such as changing pod hoses and welding cracks to new, inexperienced workers and assign more dangerous tasks such as jacking up rail cars to more experienced workers. (2)
  • Decide which tasks to complete first when maintaining, inspecting and repairing railcars. Typically, start with the structural elements and then work on brakes. When determining the order of repairs for the structural elements, consider whether the parts are in stock or will need to be manufactured, the impact on other mechanical systems, and the availability of assistance. (2)
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Problem Solving
  • Replacement parts are not in stock. Attempt to modify parts onsite to use as replacements after verifying that the parts meet safety standards. If safety may be compromised, send the parts to machine shops for modifications or order new ones. (2)
  • Bad weather is causing unsafe working conditions. For example, discover that snow and ice create unstable bases for the placement of the hydraulic jacks used to lift railcars. Shovel away the snow and use salt to melt the ice in order to properly install the jacks. (2)
  • Face unexpected equipment failures. For example, trains with a large number of cars may fail their final brake tests prior to departure for the main station. Carmen and carwomen work in tandem with the engineers to close the air valves to groups of cars to determine which railcars have faulty brakes. Once railcars have been isolated, they use diagnostic techniques such as soap tests to find the faulty valves or poorly coupled hoses. Because of the potential delay to passengers, they are pressured to carry out diagnostic and repair procedures quickly. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Seek the advice and opinions of co-workers and supervisors when maintaining, repairing, or replacing railcar parts. (2)
  • Locate safety information on hazard labels on tank cars to ensure that the cars do not contain noxious substances such as sulphur dioxide gas. (2)
  • Consult schedules, work orders and co-workers to find information about daily assignments. (2)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the health and safety risks posed by job tasks and work conditions. Consider structural defects and damages to railcars and the potential for environmental hazards such as noxious gases before entering railcars. Take into account the availability of tools required to safely perform repairs and procedures for entering confined spaces. (2)
  • Evaluate the condition of railcar components such as bearings, couplings, braking systems and wheels. Examine components to ensure they are attached and functioning properly. Look for signs of damage and consider whether the damage will compromise safety standards. Check the stress on railcar parts such as brakes and analyze test results. (3)
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